The dreaded three year re-determination.

The dreaded three year re-determination.

Image from: Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid
Find more funny IEP goals at Funny IEP Goals: Laugh Your Behind Off in 15 out of 15 Opportunities

I don’t know how it’s possible but it is, once again, time for Caleb’s 3 year re-determination for special education.

For anyone who’s not familiar with the process, every 3 years a child with an IEP needs to be completely re-evaluated by the school district to determine if they still qualify for special education services. I wish there was room for doubt here for Caleb but we all know that’s not the case. As amazing as his progress has been, he’s still not at the level of a typical 9 year old. He will still qualify.

After all the fights we have had with various employees of this district, I’m still suffering from PTSD. When I see an envelope from OSE (Office of Special Education) my heart starts racing and my hands will shake. How ridiculous is that?? I read every line and completely obsess over it. The line item that ALWAYS makes me sweat is the school psychologist’s line. I’ve learned from past experience that they write these things in a very vague manner to give themselves maximum flexibility. Maximum flexibility does not work for me, I need specifics.

I feel like we have a good working relationship with Caleb’s teacher so I always hate to ask questions that might make her feel defensive. I know she isn’t all of those other people. I know this school isn’t those other schools. I still need the reassurance though.

Today I brought up the subject of the tests the psychologist will use. She wasn’t sure what tools would be used to evaluate him but she reassured me that she would be present throughout. I looked nervously at Eric and just went for it…”We don’t sign off on IQ tests…” To which she replied…

“What is this 1950? We don’t use those.”

Uh, what? Really? Because we’ve had two school psychologists in this district who were pretty darned fixated on IQ.

I must have looked confused because she added, “Whatever she uses, I’m pretty sure it will come back non-testable because he doesn’t know her. I’ll be there to make it as easy as possible and I might be able to ask the questions since I’m the familiar test giver, he has accommodations for that. What is really important is what the team members say, we all know him, we know where he’s at. We work with him every day.”

She offered to find out what tests would be used but it was my turn to reassure her, “You know what you’re doing, we’re good.”

It’s still going to suck…we still need to hear all the things he isn’t doing…but at least we don’t have to sit through that, getting beaten down emotionally, only to have to fight every step of the way through the rest of the process on top of it.

As we walked to the truck Eric shared something he’d forgotten to tell me yesterday…Caleb’s teacher is going to speak to the general education teacher to find ways to increase his inclusion time. Again. We are so far beyond “lunch, recess and specials” already that this will just put those bad memories completely in the dust.

I think maybe it’s past time to let myself truly trust his team again.

For the parents of typical kids.

For the parents of typical kids.

I want to talk a bit about inclusion or integration. A lot of people throw those words around and, based on conversations I and other friends have had,

I think a lot of it is a generational thing. When I was younger, this concept simply did not exist. If you needed extra help you were pulled out of the regular classroom, if you were functioning high enough to be in there in the first place, or you were kept apart from your peers, unless you were fortunate enough to be allowed to share lunch, recess, gym, art or library with them. We had had it drilled into our heads that you do NOT stare or point or ask uncomfortable questions, right? Though some surely did miss those lessons, most of the kids I knew had the basic manners. The result of this is that kids with special needs became “other.” They were not in our space, we weren’t given the time together needed to understand them or befriend them and we weren’t allowed to ask about them, it wasn’t polite.

When you aren’t allowed to know who or why…when all you see is this alien being who is so very different from you (hey, come on, how could we KNOW they weren’t? No one ever told us!)…it’s easy to be uncomfortable or scared and you know what fear breeds? Disrespect and bullying. At best these kids were ignored, at worst…well…if you think about it hard enough you can remember what the worst was for them.

If these are your memories of kids with special needs then it’s not surprising to me that you are scared or fearful or angry about integrated classrooms. If these are your memories of kids with special needs then I can understand why you might think that our kids…my kid…doesn’t belong in the classroom with your child. If these are your memories of kids with special needs, as they were mine not so long ago, I can understand why you grumble about the dollars going into special education.

I understand it but I also know better now. I have learned that if that is what you think, you’re wrong. I’m a pretty tolerant person, I can usually see both sides of an argument. I have friends who run the gamut from gay marriage loving liberal hippies to nut job doomsday preppers1 But this “argument” isn’t an argument. If you don’t believe that kids with disabilities belong in our classrooms then you are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Clear? You are wrong.

I’m even willing to explain to you why you are wrong, I’m that much of a giver.

My child belongs in class with yours. My child needs more help, true, but he still belongs. My child has much to learn from yours and your child has much more to learn from mine.

The things my child will learn in that classroom will set him up to be a member of our community when he’s older. He has learned social skills, sharing, perseverance. He has learned how to sit at a desk and work. He has learned how to tell jokes. He has learned to eat with a fork. Jeeze, he was practically potty trained by preschool friends. These are all SO valuable to him, they mean the difference between a life “apart from community” and a life “as part of a community.”

The things that your child will learn in that classroom will not only further his or her education but will make your child a better person. They will have a chance to be both a student and a teacher. They will learn how to break down tasks and help others understand them. They will learn to be a true friend to someone. They will have a chance to learn that different isn’t bad, that different can be pretty freaking fun, actually. They will have a chance to learn that others struggle, sometimes way more than they do. They will have a chance to learn that if something is hard you keep working at it…maybe even for years. They will learn that if you don’t quit, you will achieve your goals. Oh, yeah, they’ll also learn all the other things they would learn even if they weren’t in an integrated class…they still learn the exact same curriculum!

In short, they will learn to be awesome.

Don’t believe me? Let me give an example…Caleb has been ever so slightly obsessed with the Chicken Man the last couple of weeks. Do you know the Chicken Man? He just loves the Chicken Man! SO…he’s been going to school and talking to his friends about the Chicken Man. A lot.

You might think this would be distracting to the other kids, that it might annoy them. You would be wrong. Because they spend so much time with Caleb, he isn’t distracting he’s just Caleb. He’s a funny kid who makes them laugh. He’s just another kid. He’s not alien or weird to them. He’s not distracting…not any more than any of the other typical 8 year old kids in the class at least!

So, great…he’s not taking away from their educational experience but still…what does he add? How about love and compassion and friendship? How about a chance to practice kindness, share a joke or do something nice for someone else? That’s not nothing. In fact, I would guess he’s giving your kids lessons that will make you proud to be their parent. For instance, this kid…he’s part of Caleb’s core group of friends. He’s just your typical 8 year old boy. During art class Caleb was talking to Nate about Chicken Man so Nate did this…

He drew Caleb a Chicken Man. He was in art, he needed to draw and he took the opportunity to make a kid…MY kid…smile. Tell me that wouldn’t make you glow to hear about your own child?

So what did Caleb get out of it? Why wasn’t sitting there watching Nate draw, rather than draw something of his own, not a waste of his time? Contrary to how it might be sounding, I do not send Caleb to school simply to make friends. I just happen to know that the ability to make friends will play a major roll in determining how happy he will be for the rest of his life. I do expect Caleb to learn skills he needs to graduate from high school, go to college and get a job. So what was it, beyond kindness that he got? This child who can barely write his own name, and would rather not do even that if he can escape it, did this…on his own, unprompted…just copying his friend…

He wrote Chicken Man…no, it’s not perfect…but it’s pretty freaking awesome….and something to build on.

  1. OK, this is a joke peeps…they aren’t all nut jobs I have learned. I even LIKE a bunch of them. Amaze! []
Hoping for too much?

Hoping for too much?


I often struggle with pessimism. I know, I know…I’m the ultimate silver lining in a bad situation kind of girl but I try so hard to not let myself hope for too much. I prepare for and expect the worst which is what makes it easy for me to find that silver lining when bad things happen. Hoping and wanting good things is torture to me, the anxiety it generates is paralyzing.

This is why when we began the STX209 trial, Eric and I agreed from the outset that Caleb was on the placebo. My heart nearly broke each day as I watched him so closely, despite that agreement, for any sign of improvement. What if he is on the full dose and it didn’t help him? That to me would be the worst possible outcome. That would have killed the hope I have had in my heart since the diagnosis that we would find something to fix this, to make this better, to make him happier and more successful.

During the trial we saw glimmers of improvement, increased eye contact, decreased anxiety, but I refused to let myself believe it. It wasn’t until Caleb’s last IEP meeting, when we heard his teachers and specialists confirming that they saw the same at school, that I actually allowed myself to believe he was on something. I still hoped fervently that it wasn’t a full dose because I want to keep that hope, that the glimmers would become so obvious that we couldn’t deny their existence, alive.

Then we titrated down off the trial. It became clear immediately that Caleb had been on something. His anxiety shot through the roof, his emotions fluctuated wildly, we were left with a child who was just flailing in every aspect of his life. He was out of control which, fortunately enough for us, meant tears and whining (ZOMFG THE WHINING) but no aggression.

We could not wait to start the open label trial, the wondering part of the initial trial was over. We knew he was getting the medication and we knew how much. It wasn’t a very happy process for us to start. Caleb still seemed to be struggling emotionally and we didn’t see any improvements. We noticed that for 24 hours after we increased his dosage his emotions fluctuated wildly, his appetite would disappear and he was incredibly sleepy. He even fell asleep at school a few times. And still we saw nothing.

That fear that he wouldn’t respond to the medication resurfaced. I began to have doubts that he had really improved during the trial. I began to think we had fallen victim to the placebo effect and imagined it all. I began to think maybe we needed to stop the whole process, he had been so happy before we had taken him off the Celexa in the fall and now we were just playing with his moods. It reignited all of those painful thoughts I had struggled with before agreeing to the trial in the first place…thoughts of experimenting on my own child. Thoughts that I hadn’t truly loved him just as he was, that I was doing all of this for my own selfish benefit because I still couldn’t accept that I had a child with fragile X…that this was our life for now and forever.

Then I noticed a small something, it was the same small something that had let me know that the Celexa had been working oh so long ago…Caleb’s eye contact returned. He would engage us in play and, no matter how excited we all got, he maintained a consistent level of eye contact. When we ate dinner he would look straight at me when I spoke. Though my worries began to ease, I still wasn’t confident enough to voice that.

Last week, finally, I whispered to Eric as we were all playing on the big bed, “He’s looking at us.” and Eric agreed that he’d seen it too. I crushed that ridiculous little flutter of hope with the weight of my continued worries over his emotional struggles around medication increases, his loss of weight due to his appetite suppression and his exhaustion at the end of each day.

I find though that I can no longer deny that this medication is working. Too much has changed too quickly, too obviously, for me to continue.

He is more independent in our routines, I can ask him to do something and it no longer matters how many steps are involved…he will do it with virtually no prompting. The only prompting I find myself doing involves him getting distracted by what he’s watching on TV…it’s so very typical for his age that I can’t even really consider it prompting in the same sense. If I pause the movie or TV show he will quickly finish what was asked of him.

He takes initiative, I don’t have to ask him to do certain things anymore. If I tell him it’s bedtime I don’t have to ask him to put on his pajamas, find Grabbit and get into bed…he will do all of that…again with the minor distractions that you expect from an 8 year old who isn’t quite convinced I meant that it was bedtime right that very minute, he might grab a toy or a book but he’ll lay it aside and continue if I remind him that it’s bedtime.

He is doing chores, willingly and without being asked…he has helped fold laundry, he loads and unloads the dishwasher, he will run around the house and pick up dirty dishes and put them in the sink. When we go grocery shopping he will grab a basket and carry it until his arm nearly falls off. We tell him what we need and he will grab it and put it in his basket. If we forget and grab it, he will chose his own and ignore whatever we picked up.

His social skills are improved, during the storm we were outside with a big portion of our neighborhood cleaning up and he greeted everyone, some with handshakes and others with a, “Hey ‘sup?” Many of those who were out there are virtual strangers to him but he never hid his face, he wandered freely amongst the houses while keeping an eye on Eric and I. At the grocery store the clerk remarked, “He must keep you laughing all the time.” based on Caleb’s greeting and obvious understanding of the entire process and his eagerness to help us all.

His verbal skills are improved. He has more words…sentences…paragraphs…he tells us about things that happened, not just things AS they happen. He repeats everything, we have taken to calling him “The Echo” which always earns us a quiet “echo” from him.

He’s planning. He found a Christmas catalog somewhere, found a Nerf gun that he wanted and asked for it. He knew where to get it “ToyRUS?”, he would tell us what color it was to differentiate it from the others on the page. When Eric took him to ToysRUS to buy it, he wandered up and down the 4 different Nerf aisles until he found the exact gun that was in the catalog. While Eric scanned box by box looking for it he took a glance and immediately knew those were not it, some were close but not it…and he kept looking. Oh, and, when he saw the catalog…he read “Nerf” and pointed it out to us.

I could go on and on but what I’m saying here is that (except for those 24 hours after a dosage increase) he is calm, focused and independent. His air of capability is remarkable, he has no doubt about what to do or how to do it…I watch him in awe these days. I’m not sure I can convey what it is like to see a child go from a toddler to a kid almost literally overnight. He is changing so quickly, so drastically, that the biggest risk here is that we will continue to baby him too much when he’s really OK on his own. Other than other FX parents who are on this trial, I’m not sure anyone will ever experience watching your child seemingly mature years in just weeks.

And it’s not just us…Caleb’s teacher reports that he is increasingly independent at school as well. She can send him to the office alone, she waits for him at the top of the stair still but she doesn’t need to. When we drop him off at school he walks through the classroom door easily, often with no prompting…after years of tears over this task…it’s magical. And when he’s ready to head out with his friends to start his day he’s right at the front leading the charge to the next class.

Oh, and…he’s at less than half the ultimate dosage still. I’m not sure I can even hope for too much at this point, he’s changing faster than I can dream new dreams.

I forgot the very BEST highlight!

And really, it deserves it’s own blog so it’s all good.

During the meeting I was brought to tears by one of his teacher’s comments. I no longer even remember what lead up to this exactly but his teacher was commenting on how they keep pushing him and challenging to do more when she said this…this was her explanation…

“Because he can do anything. Anything.”

It wasn’t fluffy BS, it came out just so matter of fact…as just a throwaway…like everyone knows this.

I will never forget how I felt when I heard that. I cannot even tell you how1 mind-blowing2 it was to hear those words coming from his teacher.

I can say now that the entire nightmare of his kindergarten year IEP, the fights, the tears, the raging anger…every second was worth it to get here…to this school where everyone just knows that Caleb can do anything.

And right now my dad is shaking his head because he has been telling me my entire life. “Things always work out.” I can be a slow learner.

  1. fucking []
  2. Sorry, I’ve been trying to be good that gets an f-bomb. []

No one pass out, this is an actual update about CALEB!

Last Thursday we had an IEP meeting, another of the team progress meetings we’ve been having every 4-6 weeks for the last two school years. It’s taken me a bit to get this all together, what with our magical Elf guest and last minute Christmas preparations but may I present…

Our quarterly report.

First, I have to start with this…the PRINCIPAL came. As soon as she came in I immediately thought, “Oh, ship.” BUT there was no “Oh, ship!” She came to observe and learn more about Caleb. We’re not used to having “admin” (to use KQ’s term) come to our meetings unless they’re there to cheese us off…it was nice to have someone come just to be there. It goes back to that whole making us feel like part of the community thing that she does so well. Love it.

Anyway, the meeting was shockingly predictable. Caleb rocks, he’s awesome and funny and sweet and everyone loves him sososososo much. Also, he’s smart and manipulative (in funny ways) and putting the smack down on his goals. Come on people, tell us something we don’t know. Sheesh.

Kidding!

There were so many awesome moments during the meeting…the highlight reel includes…

  1. They’re no longer using that stupid Vantage Lite which Caleb has always, always, always hated with a passion. They’ve given up. We suggested it might be time to give it up last spring and they now agree.
  2. He’s now using an iPad for a communication device and loves, loves, loves it. He’s motivated by it and USING it. His assistive tech specialist told us, “He’s happy to see me now!” He used to tell her “good-bye” every time he saw her and now he greets her. Yeah, he REALLY hated that device. For those who are interested, he’s using TouchChat (http://touchchatapp.com/) as the app, the teacher likes it more than Proloquo2Go. It’s $149.99.
  3. He’s been more social in the last few weeks. We’re seeing this at home too, he’s hugging people and greeting people he hasn’t in the past.
  4. He’s participating more in circle time. He is calling out answers to questions, and they’re on topic. (Ex. Today is Dec. 20, so the kids were figuring out how to make 20 with coins…Caleb suggested 20 pennies!)
  5. During his share times he is now looking at the kids who are raising their hands and calling on them rather than blindly calling on his favorite peers. He’s calling on kids he hasn’t ever called on before (who are raising their hands.)
  6. One of the goals that his ST was totally regretting writing (she didn’t think it was even possible and was questioning why she thought otherwise)…he’s making AMAZING progress and it close to completing it. Which only means we will write a newer, harder one but do NOT tell him that!

Pretty cool, eh? Before he heads back to school we will be buying him a “work” iPad for his communication. He’s going to be SO bummed to find out “Angry Birds” isn’t work!

Dunkin Donuts, revisited

Last Monday I mentioned that Caleb had taken a “field trip” to Dunkin Donuts while at school (“Um, we have to tell you something.“) I know for parents of typically developing kids this sounds like a complete waste of school hours but those of us with kids with fragile X know that real life experiences are better teaching tools at times than 1:1 instruction. SO, we have no problem whatsoever with these trips.

Yesterday, they did a repeat trip but this time they did an amazing job of tying this in to Caleb’s IEP goals.

Yesterday, they didn’t go just for themselves, they took orders! Caleb had to visit all of the first and second grade classrooms and take the teacher’s order. He did the asking, the teacher wrote the order down for him. Once they had all of the orders, they went to Dunkins.

After one brief misfire, when Caleb tried to order lettuce (that’s a Subway thing), he proceeded to place the entire order with the cashier. There was no line so the cashier was able to take the time to slow down and listen to him and she was able to understand him! He paid the bill, in cash and then they returned to school and delivered the drinks.

How awesome is that? He did a fantastic job and it hit on math, social skills and speech all in one trip. They also noted that he “did better” at sharing the munchkins they brought back to the classroom…I’ve played that game with him before and gotten nothing, the kids are more persuasive apparently.

I’m thinking maybe we need to work on this skill at home, it’s important that skills be generalized beyond a school setting, right? Which means, I get educational Munchkins…my very favorite kind! Mmmmmm…learning….

“Um, we have to tell you something.”

Those words make my hands sweat…to hear them from Caleb’s teacher…*gulp*

It turns out that the thing they had to tell us was that they took him to Dunkin Donuts yesterday for an afternoon break, his normally scheduled activity was cancelled for reasons unknown. If they had started the story this way I could have finished the story….

He jogged all the way to Dunkins, he yanked the door open and ran to the cashier. He then ordered 50 billion Coolattas with fwipped cweam.

The boy was wired. They convinced him to have a hot chocolate instead of a Coolatta and they bought a box of munchkins to share. He skipped back to school carrying the box. As soon as his hot chocolate was gone he began harassing them to “fill it? fill it up?”

Shockingly, after hot chocolate and donuts, he bounced off the walls all afternoon.

Thankfully, he got it out of his system before Eric arrived to pick him up. I’m guessing it might be a while before they do that “field trip” again, lol.

 

Science!

Science!

Caleb has, for a very long time now, exhibited a love of “SCIENCE!” It started with a butterfly unit in preschool and has never really let up. This is one of those things I know would be exactly the same even without fragile X. This boy loves science, he loves the natural world, he fixates on animals and documentaries. Frozen Planet rocks his socks off, Walking with Dinosaurs stops him in his tracks and I cannot even describe the awesomeness of Myth Busters (BOOM!)

When we were writing the IEP that would take Caleb from Kindergarten to First Grade, we tried very, very, very hard to convince them that science would be a better idea for inclusion than math. The team didn’t buy into that and…well…Monkey proved us right.

The new team, awesome as they were, also didn’t buy into Science as a good time for inclusion. We instead ended up replacing math with Writing Workshop which was, in hindsight, an inspired choice. It was perfect for him.

I still thought he should be included during Science though. He loves it, he is calmed by it, he will focus on it. I understood the hesitation because they don’t get to see him choosing documentaries over movies, they don’t get to see him so enthralled with whatever amazing thing is unfolding in front of him that he forgets to eat. Like with many things, Monkey needed only a chance to be able to prove himself. That chance came last week.

Last week Caleb’s inclusion class did a hands on science activity about compost. And this is what happened…

Caleb’s teachers are now planning to include him with future hands on science activities. One of these days I think we might even convince them to let him study the solar system with the class too. Baby steps.

Meanest parents ever.

Meanest parents ever.

I believe Eric and I may be in the running for the title of meanest parents ever. I know, I know, everyone thinks we bend to the will of the mighty C and, to a large extent, they’re right. We run a Caleb centric household, partly because it’s easier to fight as few battles as possible and partly because we just love to make that little Monkey grin. So we spoil indulge him a bit at times. Shut up.

A week ago something happened, I had a seemingly innocent conversation with a co-worker who has a child with significant special needs and, at one point, she brought up a topic and I swear laser beams shot from her eyes when she heard my response to her question. What could possibly result in that type of reaction? Homework. She asked me what type of homework Caleb does. My response was a very guilty, “None? Do they get homework in 2nd grade?” Oy vey. If it were possible to shoot laser beam eyes at myself, I would have.

It had truly, not once, ever crossed my mind that Caleb’s peers, the ones I’m SO determined that he be pushed to be like, might be doing something so advanced as homework. I’m pretty sure I didn’t have homework in 2nd grade beyond reading books I picked but it’s possible that I’m just not remembering it correctly. If my 1st grade teacher reads this she can correct my memory, I’m sure.

That evening I looked at Eric and asked him, “Do the other kids at school get homework?” I got the same deer-in-the-headlights look that I had given only a few hours earlier. It made me feel better to know it hadn’t crossed his mind either. “We need to ask. If they do, Caleb should.” I’m not sure he fully believed that, I know I sure wasn’t 100% sold either.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that if the other kids are doing homework, Caleb should be too. We have high hopes for future treatments so we really need to be setting the stage now to be sure he has good habits down the road, right? Also, it felt a little like cheating to be getting a pass on this when all the other parents of typical children don’t. lolololololololol! Don’t worry…that quickly passed because, honestly? Yeah, those parents of typical kids totally deserve at least some added hardship. Still kidding!

Actually, Eric and I have been doing homework for years already. Every weekend we have sent in a quick blurb about what Caleb did over the weekend and sometimes we sent in pictures for special events. This morphed into weekly pictures this year because his teacher has started using them to help Caleb write stories in the Writing Workshop portion of his day. It’s time spent with typical peers so we are willing to do whatever we can to make sure he has the materials he needs. Even when it makes me have a mini-meltdown. (See “Way too much pressure!” Many thanks to our fellow FX Mom Jeanie for talking me off the ledge on that one!)

So, late last week Eric brought up the subject with Caleb’s teacher. After she got over her shock that she had parents requesting homework for their child she decided it was a great idea and that she’s thrilled. Yay! There’s 1 out of 4! We talked a bit about what his homework might look like and she gave it some thought over the weekend. Her primary concern is that she doesn’t want it to feel like work for any of us, she doesn’t want it to be a struggle. Yay! Now 3 out of 4 of us were on the same page!

Today, she emailed us again.

Hi Eric and Melissa,

I am sending home a homework folder today for C. Inside you will find a book, “At the Park,” 5 sight word flashcards, and coins/bills (fake money..we always use the pretend money first). I think if he practices reading the sight words to you two or three times each that would be great. The story is very short, so he can also read that 1 or 2 times. You don’t need to prompt him for any of these activities, as he should be able to read all of these words and can read this story with about 90% accuracy. If he misses any words in the story, we always help him sound them out and have him reread the whole sentence. The more practice he has with reading sight words and short stories, the more fluent a reader he will become.

As for math tasks this week, let’s just stick to him identifying coins and bills. At school he is able to tell us the name of each coin and bill. We are working on him telling us the value now (5 cents, 10 dollars, etc.). This is more difficult because he needs to memorize which coin has each value. The bills are easy, as it says right on it how much it is worth. The prompts that we use at school when working with money are: “What is it?” and “How much is it worth?” Receptively, C knows all the coins/bills, but now we are working on him expressively saying the names and values of each. The most important thing is that he is labeling the coins, using the words “cent(s)” and “dollars.” You can simply hold up a coin or bill and prompt him to tell you what it is and how much it is worth. Since he is still learning the values, he may need help, You can tell him what the value is and have him repeat it.

I think this homework will be for the whole week. He can practice all three of these things each night. I hope this all makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Also, Ms. (Inclusion Teacher) gave me a copy of what her students are doing for homework this week. It is just for your information.

Signed..

(Special Education Teacher)

Yes! Yes! Yes! Ohhhh…wait…really? Do we have to get a copy of what the typical students are doing?

I quickly e-mailed her back.

Hi Awesome Special Education Teacher Whom We Love,

Thank you for pulling this all together!

Can I be a total baby here and ask that the homework for the typical students not be included if it’s not necessary? We try very hard not to compare Caleb to his typical peers when it can be avoided. It’s really hard on us to see how far behind he is, I’d rather just focus on where he is at.

Please don’t take this as anything but me preferring ignorance when possible for my own emotions. I worry way too much about everything and C totally feeds off me!

Thanks again! I haven’t had homework in so long 😉

Melissa

I’m a little worried she’ll feel badly or defensive over that request but considering that the most important, 4th and ultimate decider/participant, Caleb, isn’t yet even aware of what kind of hell is about to be unleashed upon him…I need the least amount of mental disturbance going into this as I can manage.

Please, wish me luck. I suspect this won’t go so well when I tell him that instead of a snack and his (nearly) naked computer time he gets to sit down and do homework. Also, please no one tell him that this was all my brilliant idea…